Jack Ross praised Luke O'Nien's 'fine finishing' after the 23-year-old opened his Sunderland account at Shrewsbury Town.
O'Nien was a late substitute but combined excellently with Lynden Gooch to seal the three points.
The 23-year-old has struggled for regular minutes since joining the Black Cats in the summer but Ross said he will feel 'properly at home now'.
"He has been an interesting one for us, he is still very young and the transition he has made to Sunderland, I have been pleased how he has settled in," Ross said.
"I think he went through a period where he was overthinking.
"He even came away from doing the things he normally did well in training, we had a chat and he has trained really well this past fortnight.
"He has been back to what he does best.
"The thing about him is he is a fine finisher, he works so hard at it," he added.
"When he gets in to those positions most of us expected him to score. I am delighted for him from a personal point of view.
"He is a young man who has made a big jump and he will now feel properly at home now he has made that contribution."
It was another afternoon in which Ross' substitutions made a big difference for the Black Cats, with Gooch adding two assists following his introduction early in the second half.